Editors’ Prepping Progress

To be prepared for a crisis, every Prepper must establish goals and make long-term and short-term plans. Steadily, we work on meeting our prepping goals. In this column, the SurvivalBlog editors review their week’s prep activities. They also often share their planned prep activities for the coming week. These range from healthcare and gear purchases to gardening, property improvements, and food storage. This is something akin to our Retreat Owner Profiles, but written incrementally and in detail, throughout the year. We always welcome you to share your own successes and wisdom in the Comments. Let’s keep busy and be ready!  This week’s emphasis is on small arms mechanical training.


Dear SurvivalBlog Readers,

We’ve just had a beautiful week of sunny weather, but quite cold nights.  (As low as -1 degree F.) So the family has done a lot of snowshoeing and ice skating, right here at the Ranch. There is more snow due off and on for the next 10 days, but hopefully that will be the last blast of winter.  We are anxious to start cutting firewood, mending fences, and getting back in the greenhouse.

I had a few hobby gunsmithing projects this week, mostly completing and perfecting a few AR builds. I’ve also been working on an antique Chilean Model 1895 Mauser sporter project. Note: With pre-1899 antique guns, I only feel justified in altering them if I’m starting with either an incomplete rifle, or modifying some else’s previous sporter project.  I try to leave complete original condition guns alone–not wanting to destroy their collector’s value.

Please send comments about your own preps. Thanks, – Jim Rawles


The Latimer Homestead this past week has done some pruning of vines and will continue to do a bit of clearing and cleanup on the property. We finished the sealing and painting of the ceiling and structural beams. The bulk of our work this week will be clearing out and cleaning our kitchen and office cabinets to prepare them for stripping the finish, sanding, and paint.

The hardest part about prepping the cabinets will be trying to find places for all of the “things” stored and stashed in the kitchen cabinets themselves while still making at least some of it available. It is absolutely astounding to me how much “stuff” a person can hide store in the average kitchen!


o o o

As always, please share your own successes and hard-earned wisdom in the Comments.


  1. Come, come, my good CPT – you really aren’t going to throw “antique Chilean Mauser sporter project” out on the table without details?!?!?!?! Positively uncivilized of you!!!! Please provide:
    – intended purpose for the end build
    – configuration
    – cartridge
    – barrel length
    – stock choice
    – iron sights
    – optics
    – sling

    As one who is currently repairing a VZ24 re-barreled in 7.62×51 as a scout rifle, and a ’38 Turk Mauser build to .35 Whelen Ackley Improved, one needs to know these things!!! LOL!!!!

  2. Getting more seeds started indoors for tomatoes and eggplants. Early seeded some radish, beets, lettuce, and spinach outside earlier in the week. Have been getting raised beds ready for later in the spring. Also in the process of helping a cousin clear out some old white pines that unfortunately shade his garden area and have been providing cover for some of the local drug addict thieves.

    Have been spoiled with the warm weather here lately. Was 79-80*F yesterday, but rain and cool weather looks like it will return until at least mid-march. Have some carpentry projects to work on in the basement to keep me busy as well. Milled an old ash log to make a shelf for my seedlings to germinate.

    1. Forgot to mention that I already have some broccoli, cauliflower, collards, and cabbage seedlings going well for about a month now as well as some apple sprouts just for fun.

  3. Re: Kitchen remodeling. I made my living at one time in that business. And I often remarked that family counseling should have been offered to cope with the stress occasioned by the disruption of this center of communal life.

  4. This week I’ve been reconsidering my wealth distribution and prioritizing purchases. A batch of eneloops arrived leaving a proper stock so scratch that off the ole list.

    We had a bit of sunlight and that helped the solar batteries. Not to mention saving on gas for the generator.

    A shotgun was fired to frighten a neighbors dog away from the chicken coop. I read up on state law regarding killing dogs that threaten me or my property so I know exactly what words to use if the deputies investigate. I’m disgusted with being placed in this position.

    The weather is too cold to rearrange the storage or at least that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

    I’ve been putting off weapon maintenance and it’s overdue.

    Physical training needs higher priority to prepare for the springtime demands.

    My teenage daughter is writing an article she would like to submit to the blog so I see editing in my future. It’s regarding how shes been raised by a single father off-grid from her perspective in contrast to her time in the city with her mother. Perhaps this will be helpful to other parents in similar situations.

    I’ve also been doing some family maintenance with visits to relatives and fighting to strengthen the father-daughter bond that society is intent on weakening and destroying. Any adult man has legal, unlimited access and rights to my minor child. My access is restricted and rights are not relevant in court at the point of a gun.

    Also, if you are tired of being bothered by politicians asking for handouts just ask them what their position is on drafting state legislation for equal parenting rights or following federal law and not permitting commissioners to award a veterans disability to the parent who didn’t serve, isn’t injured and suffering. You’ll never hear from them again.

  5. For years I’ve conceal carried everywhere. I recently moved to a tropical climate. After a long evaluation of concealed carry options I finally bought the handgun which best suited my needs and constraints. It’s make/model shall remain anonymous to avoid the inevitable Ford/Chevy debate. It is a small caliper which can be comfortably concealed wearing shorts and tucked-in t-shirt. I am one to practice dutifully and will feel quite comfortable in its reliability and reasonable effectiveness.

    Another no-so-sexy goal was met this week. I read ‘Surviving in an Urban Environment- Part 4, by J.M’. After years of prepping and putting this off l finally ordered a supply of larger roll TP which will be left in the carton and dedicated to preps.

  6. One other item. I decided it would be clever to leave the inverter off to allow the batteries to receive a nice charge during the day without considering the low temperatures into my Einstein equation. Apparently the heat tape on the water pipes need power to work and keep those pipes from freezing for some bizarre reason. So, I spent a few days using the jerry-can water reserves while thawing things out.

  7. After coming back from Iraq, it has taken some time, but my offer for a modest home just North of Boise, ID. has been accepted. I’m moving to the Great American Redoubt!

    I will be taking all my preps, reloading equipment, Precious Metals, Long Term Storage Food and other gear to Idaho with me.

    Thank You to JWR and Pastor Chuck Baldwin for their Wisdom and Encouragement.

  8. We are mostly in the 40s here, March weather a little early. This past couple of weeks I have spent a number of hours reorganizing closets and shelves around the house. I used to have a large pantry, but because we have new kitchen cabinets (rebuilt after a fire) that go to the ceiling, I can put a lot of extra canned and boxed produce in the kitchen. I am now using those shelves in a finished lower level room for sewing supplies, mostly fabric. One bookcase is dedicated to unfinished projects, so this week I worked on some of those projects (while listening to radio shows talking common sense). We also got a “new” washer. We had an actual new one, a sort of “smart” model five years old, but the thing relied on sensors for water and balance, and it would never spin properly and took literally hours to do one load. So I dumped it for a repaired “dumb” Maytag purchased by a local, family owned store that the repairman said “would run forever. The best washer he’s ever seen.” We love it.

    This morning I looked out over our acreage from a bedroom window with some sadness. We have lived on almost 7 acres for 15 years, but my husband has never been interested in doing anything with it, which break my stewardship heart. He is a good man, who works very hard in a demanding, high skill occupation that requires travel 3-4 days a week and does not want to do physical work when he is off. I do understand his sentiment, especially because he still does have to manage cars, and house repairs, just wish I’d known just how disinterested he was when we bought the property. (I was too idealistic.) I used to have a big garden, but we don’t have a root cellar (we have a really great place, but hubby says “no.”) or any good place to store extra (I’ve tried all the options) so too much was going to waste. We do a few things, peppers, tomatoes, rhubarb, and berries from our bushes, but that’s about all. I’d love to get our pasture fenced and try to find someone who would like o partner with us to put some sheep on it, but again, no agreement. Hopefully when we move at retirement in a few years, I can get a smaller country place with a root cellar (and a landline!) and do more gardening.

  9. Was able to get back to work on new pasture. We will pick up our pigs in a couple of weeks. We purchased American Guinea Hogs 2 gilts and 1 boar. These will constitute the beginnings of our small herd. We also were able to plant some fruit trees and muscadine starter this week. We have had a lot of rain over the past few weeks and have to work really quick outside while we could.

  10. I purchased six good quality 1911 magazines on sale this week. Today, I parceled them out in ammo cans where I am storing .45 ammo.

    Ever since my basement flooded — ruining some primers and creating plenty of “practice” ammo — I have taken to storing all my ammo in waterproof ammo cans. Whenever possible, I add an extra extra magazine or two to each can. One or two Glock mags with 9mm ammo. A 25-round Butler Creek 10/22 magazines with .22 ammo. AR15 magazines with 5.56. In many cases, I am spending $250 for the ammo, so spending $10 or $20 for a spare magazine both is a good investment and good sense. I also have been known to stick in a bore snake or other cleaning supplies.

    With this set up, if all I can do is throw a few ammo cans in the back of my truck before I bug out, I know I will have extra magazines. And let’s face it: Semi-autos are pretty much useless without an ammunition feeding device, and they are often the most fragile part of the gun.

  11. A week off and I managed to stay home and just be. I rested up, kept the fires going, did get to the dentist (check), dehydrated frozen peas (check), tried to start the farm truck and it’s not starting (ugh), cut more of the brush into firewood and gathered more kindling while clearing the yard (check), and rearranged the cabin (check). We continue to figure out the cabin space issue. Things are getting better.

    It finally warmed up one day after much rain (where is our snow?) and we were able to bury our beloved dog that died just before Christmas. He has a nice view and I have a nice rock upon which to share the view.

    Sitting on my rock and contemplating the farms and lands that now sit idle across the valley, I was reminded why we have left this land where I have three centuries of history. What has been happening across our great nation leaves me sad. Having studied history in college (when going to college meant I learned actual facts regardless of how they made me feel), specifically 20th century atrocities, I am very concerned about the future of our nation. So, I say to my fellow commenters, let us continue to keep busy with our work so that we may be found ready with oil in our lamps at the appointed time.

  12. Fixed the coolant leak in my Jeep (just a busted spring steel hose clamp), ordered 22 new chicks (20F, 2M) that will arrive mid-March, got the riding mower in for pre-Spring checkup, started cleaning the shed in preparation of pulling an engine on a project car.
    Wife got the taxes mostly finished with no bad news. I’m putting off writing something on diesel engine vehicles for pre and post SHTF use. And once again ( as if to torture me) my dream survival/retirement property is back on the market at a cheaper price…it would be a 45 minute drive to work for my wife vs currently 10 minutes and even worse for me and we’d have to put almost all our IRA and equity into it just to make it affordable…but we’d get acreage for livestock and mineral royalties in return. Decisions, decisions.

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